Less than a year after two people died when a banyan tree crashed into them, a biker got injured after part of a tree fell on his right shoulder on Tuesday. Around 10.50am, Santosh Chikne was passing through Rafi Kidwai Marg near SNDT College, Wadala, on his bike when a portion of the Deodhar tree came crashing down.
The impact of the collapse threw Chikne on the ground and policemen rushed him to Sion hospital where he was diagnosed with blunt trauma with a minor right shoulder joint injury and discharged after minor treatment. A decision to compensate Chikne is yet to be taken.
Tuesday’s incident follows the civic body’s claim 15 days ago that the task of pruning 340 dead and dangerous trees was completed. Last July, a 25-year-old woman and her six-month-old baby were killed when a banyan tree fell on them.
Green activists said lackadaisical approach by ward offices and the tree authority towards their complaints on potentially dangerous trees is apparent through the incident.
“Along with written complaints of three other potentially dangerous trees in this area, I had also informed the ward officials about this particular Deodhar tree,” said Nikhil Desai, 60, member of F-north resident’s forum where the incident took place.
Desai added, “Such accidents can be easily avoided if the tree authority allows its officers to take decisions quickly. By the time the authority reviews the area, the tree collapses.”
Members of the Khar Resident’s Association (KRA) alleged that three Ashoka trees were hacked on the 17th road in the morning. “A developer has taken up redevelopment of the building where trees have been hacked; so I suspect he may have felled these trees,” said Anandini Thakoor of KRA. “We have never seen anyone being booked for hacking trees.”
Activists feel the dangerous trees are inappropriately pruned because it does not mitigate the danger of the branches collapsing. “Pruning should be done on each side of the tree. Instead, only that part of the tree that leans on the road is pruned, making the tree lean on the other side,” said GR Vora, environment activist.